- Status Report
- August 12, 2022
NASA Is Still Sleepwalking When It Comes to Policy Transparency
OSTP: Clear Rules for Research Security and Researcher Responsibility
“The Biden-Harris Administration holds a strong commitment to protecting research security and maintaining the core values behind America’s scientific leadership, including openness, transparency, honesty, equity, fair competition, objectivity, and democratic values. During its final week in office, the previous administration issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM-33) to “strengthen protections of United States Government-supported R&D against foreign government interference and exploitation” while “maintaining an open environment to foster research discoveries and innovation that benefit our nation and the world.” Given the timing of the release of NSPM-33, the previous administration did not have time to develop implementation guidance for federal agencies. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is working on how to implement NSPM-33 effectively, rigorously, and uniformly across the federal government in a way that protects the nation’s interests in both security and openness.”
Keith’s note: This memo from the President’s science advisor regarding the current OSTP’s actions with regard to NSPM-33 certainly has implications for NASA inasmuch as NASA has numerous international projects including many that involve Russia and has binding legal restrictions in place with regard to China. NASA is part of the Federal government like all the other agencies are.
You’d think that the NASA office that deals with Intergovernmental and International relations would be on top of things like this. Maybe they are. Hard to tell. If you subscribe to the notion that one’s official agency website reflects an agency’s current understanding of the world (as NASA seems to) then you’d expect that the NASA Office International and Interagency Relations to have references to the current state of policies that are accurate – and that the links to them work. Guess again.
As I noted a month ago in “”NASA’s International and Interagency Relations Team Doesn’t Bother To Update“:
“If you go to the page where OIIR links to things, the top link i.e. Standing Trump Administration space policy documents – Executive Order for the National Space Council, White House Fact Sheet on the National Space Strategy, SPD-1, SPD-2, SPD-3 – all of the links are dead since that is what happens to one Admininstration’s links when a new one takes over.
Then there is International Space Station Multilateral Intergovernmental Agreement — United States, Canada, European Space Agency, Japan, Russia (January 1998) which goes to an FTP site that no longer exists/won’t let you in; International Space Station Crew Code of Conduct which goes to a dead link somewhere inside NASA; NASA CSA, ESA, Russia, and Japan agreements from 1998 which all go to dead links; and Space Shuttle mission info which, by definition, has not been updated since 2011. But nothing about Artemis, Orion, SLS, etc all of which have international cooperation embedded in them. And so on. If NASA can’t be bothered to update their international relations web page at least once in a decade why should anyone take the time to visit it.”